TLDR: After playing 100+ hours with 2 friends on a dedicated server I was watching a video on youtube and by accident discovered how easy it is to spawn items in the game. This transformed the amazing joy I got from griding in the game to a bitter feeling of wasting my time. In the end, I stopped playing the game.
I am writing this because although I quit the game, I really enjoyed my experience up to the point I discovered cheating. Hence I don't want the devs to lose players who experience the same problem as I did. So let me explain.
Playing with 2 friends on a dedicated server and putting in 100+ hours into the game and I totally love it. Naturally, I really got invested in the game, reading about it and watching videos on youtube about it. Little did I know that I would stumble upon someone briefly showing how easy it was to cheat in the game. This ruined the game for me. Why is that so? Glad you ask:
– Playing with two friends it was cool to provide each other with resources and items as a "gift" and showing that you actually care to build a base or chop wood etc. Now we think "ah yes thats a cheated item/resource etc.". It pretty much devalues the appreciation for putting in the work.
– For me, the game is all about the satisfaction I get from griding towards a set goal (an item, a new base etc.). Simply knowing that I could just spawn 500 wood in the blink of an eye in order to build a new base puts me into an uncomfortable spot where I find myself arguing whether clicking on wood for hours (which is not the most fun) really justifies the satisfaction I get once I see the house I have built in the end. The entire time I spend on chopping wood, using the cart to transport metal etc. I have the nagging feeling of wasting my time. While I enjoyed the very same grind before knowing about the cheats, this inner conflict takes away the pleasure and I can't convince myself to keep on grinding.
I guess its always possible to cheat in games one way or the other, but I wish it was just not that simple.
Edit: I want to clarify I have no problem with other people cheating or cheating in general. Everyone should play as they please. I just want to highlight the fact that simply being able to cheat so easily ruined the game for me which makes me really sad since I loved the game so much. Simply not using cheats does not solve the inner conflict I feel now when playing the game. I have the feeling I might not be alone with this problem and I do not want the game to lose players due to this, so my only wish is for a solution to this. Keep cheats in the game for those that want to cheat (again everyone should be able to play how they please) but maybe make a different game mode or something similar, such that you are not tempted to cheat so easy. I am 100% sure there are some clever people in the community or in the dev team who can come up with a genius solution to this.